Finding the perfect item will soon be much easier.

By Katie Holdefehr
September 27, 2017
Bloomberg/Getty Images

If Target is your favorite place to shop for clothing and home decor, and if Pinterest is your go-to site for fashion and home inspiration, get excited—this dynamic duo is teaming up to transform the online shopping experience. Yesterday, Target announced via the Wall Street Journal that it plans to embed Pinterest’s visual search tool, called Lens, into its registry, its app, and eventually its website.

If you’ve never used Pinterest’s visual search tool before, it works by allowing you to search for and match specific items within an image, and Target hopes to use this technology to change how consumers shop. “Instead of typing ‘modern crib’ into a text search bar (and sifting through thousands of results), you simply snap a picture of your inspiration and in seconds, you’ll see a curated set of products that resemble or complement your pic,” the company explains in the press release.

Using this technology, real-world items suddenly become searchable and shoppable. For example, if you see a coworker wearing a dress you love or if you spot your dream dishware in a restaurant, you can simply snap a picture on your smartphone and the search tool will pull up the item or similar-looking items that are available on Target.com. This search method can also make it easier to match colors: If you see the perfect shade of on-trend red, take a photo and the Target app will soon be able to show you clothing available in similar hues.

While Pinterest has licensed out its Lens technology before, this is its first time its doing so with a retailer. The announcement corresponds to a shift in search, and according to the press release, Target predicts that by 2020, visual search and speech search (like asking Siri or Alexa) will make up 50 percent of all searches.

Another added bonus of Target’s new search capabilities is that it could help the company give customers more of what they want. “As we start to understand what shoppers are really looking for, it’ll help us better anticipate—and plan for—the latest styles and trends,” explains Rick Gomez, Target’s chief marketing officer. So go ahead and snap that sweater you’ve been coveting—who knows, you may see something similar pop up in Target’s next collection.

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